Somewhere between 12% and 33% of people experience back pain at any given time: A massive statistic for any health condition or symptom. While some instances of back pain rapidly subside in just days or even hours, others persist and can lead to daily struggles or even disability.

Whether your back pain is your primary health concern or is lower on your list of issues, you want to address it before it worsens. An urgent care appointment is a fast and convenient way to get an evaluation for your back pain and is often the first step in getting the treatment you need.

With so many people experiencing back pain from mechanical issues and musculoskeletal injuries, Rolandine Vaughan, PA-C, MPAS, is no stranger to evaluating and diagnosing conditions that cause it. From Virtually Urgent Healthcare in Dacula, Georgia, she provides virtual visits to explore possible reasons for your back pain and offers helpful advice for managing the discomfort.

So when should you contact your local urgent care provider about back pain? We have several recommendations for you to try before you consider an urgent care visit.

Start with home care

Many instances of back pain originate from minor sprains or strains of the soft tissues in your back. Mild cases of back pain are often manageable at home using items you already have on hand. Before you pick up the phone, open your laptop, or hop in the care for an urgent care visit, try managing your back pain with one or more of our self-care recommendations:

  • Take over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
  • Apply an ice pack (or a frozen bag of veggies) periodically to the painful part of your back. Cold therapy is best following the initial onset of back pain
  • Use heat to alleviate the pain by taking a warm bath or using a heat pad after the first 48 hours
  • Move around and limit bed rest

A lack of back pain improvement from these attempts is a sign you should make an urgent care visit for professional care.

Book your urgent care visit under these circumstances

If your back pain persists beyond home care, if it follows a clear accident or injury, if it gets worse over time, or if it’s sudden and severe with no explanation, it’s time to make an urgent care visit.

A virtual urgent care visit with Virtually Urgent Healthcare allows you to access an evaluation and professional medical advice without leaving the comfort of your home or hotel room. If Rolandine determines you need additional care, she can refer you to a local specialist for treatment. She might urge you to visit the emergency room if she suspects your back pain comes from an emergency.

Watch out for other concerning symptoms

Sometimes back pain is isolated, but at other times, it appears alongside other symptoms. Even if those other symptoms don’t seem to be related to your back pain, they may be connected in some way.

Certain symptoms with back pain indicate an emergency. If you experience any of the following alongside back pain, skip the urgent care visit and go to the emergency room instead:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • A fever
  • Sudden bladder incontinence
  • Sudden bowel incontinence
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Trouble moving one or both legs

If you don’t have these symptoms, an urgent care visit or even a scheduled doctor’s appointment will suffice.

Contact us for your next steps

Are you ready to address your severe, persistent, or worsening back pain with an urgent care visit? Call Virtually Urgent Healthcare or reserve your telehealth appointment online in an instant with our convenient online booking tool.

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